This past offseason was certainly a busy one for the Chicago Blackhawks. The team saw many familiar faces depart and welcomed several new faces. The Hawks are in a full rebuild, so fans should expect a rough few years. However, there are still some things to look forward to for Blackhawks fans.
One thing to watch for is former Hawks on new teams. There are a lot of former Blackhawks on new teams like Washington, Ottawa and Detroit to name a few. We have predictions on a lot of those players.
Season predictions for former Blackhawks on new teams
The Washington Capitals are a team that is very often a Playoff-caliber team. They are currently riding an 8-season Playoff appearance streak. Three former Blackhawks players found their way to the Capitals: Dylan Strome, Henrik Borgstrom, and Erik Gustafsson.
Dylan Strome could finally have a true breakout year with the Capitals. He will most likely be slotted on the second line between Anthony Mantha and T.J. Oshie. Coming from a line with Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat, it may take Strome a few games to find his groove with new linemates.
With a career-high season for goals last year with 22, I see Strome continuing an upward trajectory. He played his best hockey so far in Chicago, but I believe he will continue to improve. I would say that Strome will have a career-high year in Washington and finally hit the 30-goal mark (if he stays healthy). I’ll say 32 goals, 41 assists, and 73 points.
Henrik Borgstrom will likely slide in and out of the Capitals lineup throughout the year. I could see him playing in a bottom-six role. That being said, I’ll give Borgstrom 5 goals, 10 assists, and 15 points, tying his career-high in assists.
Erik Gustafsson should be on the third defensive pairing if on the active roster at all. I bet he will soon be disliked by the Capitals fanbase in no time. The only saving grace for Gus could be if he gets slotted on the power play. This could bump his assist total up, but I will give him 2 goals, 21 assists, and 23 points.
The Ottawa Senators made some big moves in the offseason, and I believe they are just a few pieces away from being Playoff contenders. Alex DeBrincat wound up on the Senators in a shocking and unsatisfying trade from the Blackhawks’ end.
Alex DeBrincat, two-time 40-goal scorer, should find himself on the Senators’ second line with Tim Stutzle and Claude Giroux. This is similar company to what he is used to playing with in Chicago in Strome and Kane. Being on a team that is on the way up, I see nothing but success for DeBrincat.
Playing with guys who can dish the puck and score like Giroux and Stutzle, DeBrincat will have a great season. I will give him 43 goals, 39 assists, and 82 points, career-highs in all three categories.
The Red Wings stole yet another European forward from the Blackhawks in free agency. Dominik Kubalik now joins Pius Suter in Detroit as the second free agent in as many years to leave Chicago and sign with the Red Wings. Detroit is certainly a team that is rising very quickly and is on its way to becoming a dominant force once again.
Kubalik will find himself on the Red Wings this line with Pius Super and Filip Zadina. He could also see some time up on the second line with Andrew Copp and David Perron. Kubalik is a player will will usually be slightly above average. He won’t be a superstar, but we won’t be trash.
With that being said, I’ll give him 20 goals, 15 assists, and 35 points. It’s nothing crazy, but it’s enough to hang around.
Kirby Dach departed Chicago in a shocking, last-minute Draft Day trade. Dach was traded to Montreal in exchange for the 13th and 66th overall draft picks. Shortly after, Dach signed a 4-year deal with the Canadiens worth $13.45 million in total.
Dach will most likely wind up on the third line in Montreal with Engenii Dadonov and Brendan Gallagher. I don’t think this will be his breakout year. That will probably be another year or two down the line. However, Dach will be able to hold his own.
With the struggling Canadiens, I will give Kirby Dach 15 goals, 13 assists, and 28 points, giving him career-highs in goals and points. It will be enough to show Montreal his contract wasn’t a waste but not enough to turn many heads.
The Blackhawks also lost both of their long-term goalies to free agency. Kevin Lankinen signed with the Nashville Predators, and Collin Delia signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
Kevin Lankinen will be the backup in Nashville, and Delia will be lucky to break the Canucks roster (despite being a great goalie with a great personality).
With Lankinen backing up Juuse Saros, I will give him 11 wins, 4 losses, and 3 overtime losses.
With Delia not really being in the circuit for the Canucks, I will give him 3 wins, no losses, and 1 overtime loss.
I believe most of the former Blackhawks will take advantage of their fresh starts. I could be way off, or I could be right. Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain: we are all excited for another new season.